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Rescue school athletics while we can

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I was happy to see Dave Krizman address how state budget cuts would affect local school athletics in his “PVL Pipeline” column, March 23. Sports are virtually bigger than life in this area, but part of that comes from years of prosperity here and across the country. Now that the economy has turned sour, and appears stuck there, California’s legislators are being forced to pull out the budget carving knives. True to form, they go after what hurts the taxpayer the most. Krizman makes mention of the “tax extensions” Gov. Jerry Brown would like to see on the June ballot, but would that help? If the economy doesn’t expand, neither do tax revenues. The columnist also cites Placer Union High School District Superintendent Dave Horsey’s decision to give the district schools more autonomy to raise funds for their programs — again, the economy. Americans are generous, but unfortunately now many of them are also broke and unemployed. Prep sports aren’t cheap. Fortunately, most facilities are already equipped with gymnasiums, athletic fields and equipment, but the costs of energy, officials and travel are going up. If the Sacramento Kings can’t make money in this market, what chance do the high schools have? This problem goes much deeper than what programs do we cut and which do we keep. And if students continue trending toward video games and away from physical activity, what will that do to the level of competition? Outside of the parents, how much interest will the local public have in high school athletics? And once these programs go away, how difficult would it be to get them back? Does anyone still remember music, or drama? Jim Linsdau, Colfax